Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CBS Chicago: Why Are CTA's Train Lines Color-Coded?

Whew! A lot of linking although if you don't feeling like checking the links just check out the video above as it will tell you all that you need to know about the significance of the color coding of CTA's L lines

[VIDEO] I'm a fan of Graham Garfield's This site has been a must visit since I attended community college in downtown Chicago. The L had become a daily routine at that point and now I had the time to find a site about the history of Chicago's L-trains in a computer lab. Of course looking up information on CTA trains instead of actually doing class work.

Tuesday we marked a milestone on February 20, 1993 the Chicago Transit Authority coded their train lines with a color. Before 1993 lines were known by their geographical designations. For example the Red Line used to be Englewood-Jackson Park-Howard then changed to Dan Ryan-Howard in 1993 which is the current Red Line. Another designation for CTA trains were direction for example the Red Line would've also been known as the North-South line.

Now the Dan Ryan is the train I would take every day and takes its designation from the fact that the route runs within the middle of the Dan Ryan Expressway. It's a line I've known most of my life back in the 1980s and early 90s it was designated the West-South line when it was connected with another geographically designated line, Lake. Of course as happens with change Dan Ryan becomes linked with the Howard line, so thus Lake instead gets connected with the Englewood-Jackson Park (aka Cottage Grove today) to become the current CTA Green Line.

Another interesting case the Blue Line was known as the West-Northwest route. And like the Green Line at one point has three lines also designated with geographic names Congress-Douglas-O'Hare connected through downtown in a subway - just like the Red Line incidentally. Anyway by 2006 the Douglas became the Pink Line which on later maps became known as the Cermak route which is routed into the Loop elevated tracks through the Paulina connector. This was as opposed to the connection through downtown to O'Hare.

Ah you notice a pattern here? When I say geographic what does this actually mean? It could mean a neighborhood, it could mean a street, it could also mean a park, or an airport. I suppose whatever is nearby.

For example, I could surmise that the Douglas line was named for a west side park known as Douglas Park (though it also runs along Cermak Road hence the Cermak line designation). The Congress line which actually runs in the middle of the Eisenhower expressway was named for the street that leads into the Ike - well the Ike used to be known as the Congress expressway. One upon a time the O'Hare line was know as the Milwaukee branch because that branch used to run along Milwaukee Avenue. Also the Jackson Park line used to run all the way to the edge of Jackson Park, however, over the years the line got contracted until the eastern terminal of the Green Line became Cottage Grove.

Through I see an evolution of the CTA L system. It continues to evolve as I hope the Red Line is extended south from 95/Dan Ryan station to go further south into Roseland. There are some lines I wish CTA had the foresight to continue. On the other hand it can be on it's best days the best way to see Chicago, and of course there are times where it's not so great!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Where is Tim Cunningham? #ATL #Morehouse #Blackandmissing

Cunningham's alma mater (and of course mine) puts out the word about his disappearance. While Morehouse College's ig put this information out on Monday, I've seen this on Facebook at least for about a week.

Here's an article from an Atlanta, Georgia TV station Fox 5:
Timothy Cunningham reported to work on Monday, February 12, but told his supervisors he needed to leave early because he was feeling sick. Loved one said he left his cell phone, his wallet, and his SUV at home. Atlanta Police are holding on to his cell phone as part of their missing person’s investigation.

Loved ones hope someone will recognize Cunningham, perhaps even as a John Doe in a hospital.

"We just hope he will just come home safely. None of this makes sense. He wouldn't just evaporate like this and leave his dog alone and have our mother wondering and worrying like this. He wouldn't," said the missing man's brother.

Anyone with information on Cunningham's whereabouts is asked to call 911 or the Atlanta Police Department at 404-546-4235.
Yeah something odd happened here, though hopefully he's out there safe. Below is what Morehouse College posted to instagram.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Immigration and employment

[VIDEO] Before reading the accompanying article I saw Lynne Lane talks about her job at a northwest side bakery and it sounds rough. 12 hour shifts, six days a week man super long shifts and it's hard for me to say whether or not I'd survive. Beyond that she's talking about issues of her coworkers who she says doesn't speak English and also discusses pay disparities.

However, the article's point is to discuss the immigration issues. The government audited this bakery and well some of those workers who didn't have their appropriate documentation didn't come to work. This is the darkside of the job world I hate to see aside from disparities or even their actual employement statues (i.e. temporary, full-time, part-time, etc.)

Via Newsalert

Saturday, February 17, 2018

ABL reviews #BlackPanther

[VIDEO] On a whim I saw the film on Friday, and not long after writing yesterday's post about the SJWs complaining that the film didn't contain much representation of LGBT people. I will add my own thoughts about the film as we go along here, however Anthony Brian Logan shares some of his own thoughts in video above.

Now there were some SJW elements in the movie and he says they weren't overwhelming. There was a mention of ancestors who died in the ocean - he's talking about the Atlantic slave trade. There was a pro-Black message imo, however, this is still a superhero movie above all. So yes, we have a movie featuring a Black superhero who rules an African nation that is a modern technological marvel (no pun intended).

Some of what Logan discusses in this video was reports - probably through social media especially - was that there was a lot of "cosplay" (and I have no idea what that really means other than people dress up like their favorite comic book character). Logan reports that throughout the nation many dressed in some form of African garb. In some cases some walked around banging on bongo drums. I've seen African dancing in a theater on FB. When I went to a theater in downtown Chicago, this wasn't something I experienced although there were people who were about to see the movie that did sport some African garb.

Logan also addresses reports of harassment and while it's not entirely clear whom was doing the harassing and whom was being harassed I have little to say about other than this. It's a shame when people can't just enjoy a movie in peace. Knowing that Black Panther is a movie that is produced, directed, written, and acted by Blacks - though certainly it wasn't produced and distributed by a Black production company - one segment of the population aren't the only ones who enjoy the movie. And also it's also been reported that some harassment were proven false.

As far as my own thoughts, it was a great movie. Very action packed as comic book movies are and if most saw this as a reflection of African culture - or certainly the best of it - it did it's job. I'm tempted to write a post on my neighborhood/community oriented blogs with regards to how Black neighborhoods could be transformed into a Wakanda (the fictional African nation where the "Black Panther" rules). Sure there are some political messages of not being isolationist or protecting the borders. Certainly in having a hand helping the world solve its many issues.

Regardless if Black people were looking for another positive portrayal Black Panther is one. Though lets not forget that this is a comic book movie. Someone out there will see this movie and find an issue where Black Panther is a featured character (if not with his own comic book) and they'll want to be him. Perhaps they won't be king of an African nation though they'll always fight for what's right.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Breitbart: ‘Black Panther’ Criticized for Lack of LGBT Representation

[VIDEO] As it seems to happen these days people like to find something to complain about. Just think no less than perhaps 20 or 30 years ago we wouldn't have heard a peep. Probably because it's not as acceptable as it would be now.
Marvel Studios’ upcoming blockbuster Black Panther has been criticized for its lack of LGBT representation, and the particular exclusion of a lesbian scene featured in the comic book on which the superhero film is based.

According to Pink News, “When the film was announced, fans were excited by the prospect of Okoye and Ayo, two of the title character’s bodyguards, getting together as Ayo and fellow female warrior Aneka do in the comics. And these hopes were encouraged by reports that an early screening of the film featured Walking Dead star Danai Gurira’s Okoye staring at Ayo flirtatiously as the two danced.”

However, when fans of the comics watched Black Panther during early screenings, they noticed an absence of lesbian romance, and immediately started a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #LetAyoHaveAGirlfriend, using terms such as “lesbian erasure.”
Wasn't Christopher Nolan's film Dunkirk criticized for not having a more diverse cast? That is to say even though European nations were fighting that battle - primarily the UK, France & Germany though we didn't actually see any Germans - that there needed to be a more diverse cast. A case could be made to note that Indians or Africans who may have been there on Dunkirk to have their presence noted in that film.

It's safe to say a filmmaker of a Hollywood release can't just make their movie according to their vision. Now they has to accede to the wishes of the mob.

Black Panther is in theaters TODAY!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lerone Bennett RIP

[VIDEO] Sadly I'm not up on the body of work of Morehouse Man, Lerone Bennett. Having graduated from Morehouse, he was employed by Johnson Publishing as an editor for Ebony Magazine. Bennett died yesterday.

Since I'm not that familiar with his body of work as a journalist or historian or author. We have this video above where he talks about Abraham Lincoln. Which I found via Newsalert.

Regardless I have some catching up to do with Mr. Bennett.

CNN: The genre that made Black Panther - afrofuturism

So what exactly is "afrofuturism"?
Afrofuturism intersects science fiction, technology and ancient African mythologies.

"It's people of African descent looking at themselves in the future and what their society and their culture will look like ten years from now, twenty years from now, a thousand years from now," Fikayo Adeola, founder of arts and animation company Kugali, told CNN.

The term Afrofuturism was first coined by author Mark Dery in a 1993 essay "Black to the Future," but the ideas were around long before.

From the 1950s, American jazz musician Sun Ra -- who is considered one of the earliest proponents of Afrofuturism -- drew on ancient African influences as well as space imagery in his music and performances.

"This was in an era where African-Americans looked very much like second class citizens. Afrofuturism was a tool that they could use to imagine a better future, and the movement continued into the contemporary era," said Adeola.

Afrofuturism spanned literature too.

"Science fiction authors like Octavia Butler took it to the next level bringing in futuristic technology and interactions with aliens. The science fiction genre wasn't very inclusive of black people in the early days.

"It was very much up to these early African-American authors to say that actually 'no, there are other people in the future,'" Adeola explains.  
Well while I'm not a Marvel fan this one movie that's worth seeing. Black Panther isn't the first Black superhero ever, however, with his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War he made an impression. An African king who doubles as a masked warrior to protect his people and his characterization is perfect for Marvel's universe. Just to explain I do see a difference between the Marvel Comic and the DC Comic universes.

As for afrofuturism, I want to find out more...

Tragedies and media coverage

You know on Wednesday night I just had to shut off the news and found other things worth watching on TV. I saw Apollo 13 on History, then watched an hour of American Pickers on History, then basically did some further channel surfing watching a little bit of Buzzr and portions of the 2018 winter olympics in Korea.

The news on Wednesday got depressing it was up and down my FB feeds that there was an active shooter at a Florida high school. Typically during prime time on FOX News Channel I would be watching Tucker Carlson Tonight or Hannity. Because of this breaking news story guess what they covered tonight, this latest tragedy where I'm sure they talked to anyone who was in anyway connected to that tragedy. Obviously someone willing to target people who have little to do with their inner turmoil has problems that's established.

Also it seems crap like this has been going on often lately. I don't want to call it a trend, and if it is this trend needs to end. Unfortunately the answer to such tragedies are gun control and clearly if you're determined to shoot people gun control isn't going to stop you. One will find a way to get a gun if it's not a gun there are other weapons. So either way I needed to shut this off tonight.

Another tragic incident happened in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, it involved a relatively high ranking Chicago police officer who was shot helping a tactical team check out a suspect. He was a district commander and this was really his day off and he tried to help his fellow Chicago Police Officers and got killed.

I strolled around downtown and saw the collection of traffic on Randolph Street which was closed beyond Wabash. The actual shooting took place near the Thompson Center aka the State of Illinois building. The person who shot him was someone up to no good who had a gun on him to shoot a police officer.

The point of this, is to say sometimes it's OK to just turn of the news. I'm truly sorry for the loss anyone has suffered in these tragedies Tuesday & Wednesday. Me personally perhaps we need reminders that the world remains a dangerous place however let's not allow this fact to consume us.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Been looking for this old site. It helped me over the years making tweaks to some of my blogs. Now it will continue to help me make tweaks to this blogs. I've always considered this my creative outlet of course.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

CBS Chicago: Play cancelled due to student sign with racial slur

[VIDEO] One parent got this right, we're talking about young people who don't know any better. A youthful prank is now a PR crisis for the suburban school district of Evergreen Park, Illinois. Those young men may have thought they done something clever, however, their actions have only served to hurt. And another question, did they get this behavior from home? I'd rather hope not!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Market Watch: Canceling $1.4 trillion in student debt could have major benefits for the economy

Until there's movement on this as far as Congress or the President I only see this as a pipedream. I don't know if this affects me as much as they throw around trillions of dollars, however, I wouldn't mind it if they somehow wipe out my debt.
Wiping away the $1.4 trillion in outstanding loan debt for the 44 million Americans who carry it could boost GDP by between $86 billion and $108 billion per year, on average for the 10 years following the debt cancellation, according to a report published by the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. Getting rid of the debt would also lower the average unemployment rate by 0.22 to 0.36 percentage points over 10 years and could add between 1.2 million and 1.5 million jobs per year, it found.

“That is a dollar for dollar bump up in their net worth,” said Stephanie Kelton, a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University and one of the authors of the report. In addition to becoming wealthier, these borrowers would have more disposable income to spend on houses, cars, vacations and other goods, which could fuel job growth.

The paper comes as lawmakers are considering changes to the student loan program that could decrease government subsidies to borrowers. The discussion is part of an ongoing debate about how much of the burden of student debt should be shouldered by taxpayers, often at the expense of borrowers.
Like I said I'll believe it when I see it, continuing:
Of course, cancelling borrowers’ student loans wouldn’t come for free. More than 90% of outstanding student debt is owned by the government, which means that by cancelling it, taxpayers would lose out on interest and principal payments borrowers would have gotten on the loans.

The paper also assumes the government would take responsibility for borrowers’ private student loans in some way. So student debt cancellation would increase the deficit, resulting in an increase in the deficit-to-GDP ratio of 0.65 to 0.75 points per year, the study finds.

Given that push and pull, it’s unlikely that policymakers will seriously consider widespread cancellation of student loan debt. Despite the costs of debt cancellation, Kelton said executing this kind of policy could be worth it, given the economic stimulus.
Well that was always my understand, cancelling student loan debts will wreak havoc on the financial industry. I suppose that's the main issue here, although still it would be no problem for me if the gov't finally decided just to do away with current student loans. By proxy they also just to limit the burden for students. We can help our students go to college, but is it fair to put them into significant debt?

Snowday on the south side and no snowday for Metra

[VIDEO] On Friday I shot this video on my iPhone along 95th Street from between Michigan to State. 95th & State is actually the location of the 95th CTA terminal. All the same just scenes during this past weekend's snow storm. I had actually posted this to my more visual blog at My Mind's Eye (you might actually remember that name though in a different iteration).

Via Railstream on YouTube, a video of a Metra train during this past weekends snow storms leaving Union Station. The title appropriately enough was "No snowday for Metra". Alas no embed for this one so just click this >>> [VIDEO]

The Railstream YouTube channel will on occasion have webcams featuring railroad action. Unlike Virtual Railfan - visit their two live webcams feeds here on this blog - they seem to have a free preview of the week that seems to go from location-to-location. This week they have a cam in Fostoria, Ohio. Once they also had a free preview live video from Chicago where you will see trains leaving Union Station. Like Virtual Railfan they also have a paid subscription website where you can view other live video of trains around the world.

How did you fare in this recent heavy snowfall?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Is it time to use a tipjar?

A few years ago in October 2005 I floated the idea of starting a PayPal account and starting raising money for my blogging activities. In that post years ago I had some ideas:
  • I need high speed internet access fund.
  • I need a digital camera with focus fund.
  • I need a tripod and other equipment fund.
  • I need my own webspace fund.
  • I need my own computer fund
However it's funny that in 2018, the infrastructure of the internet is so different. Some people have used Amazon where available to score a few extra bucks for example Marathon Pundit. Then there were ads - for example Google Ads which I use at (aka The Sixth Ward blog).

As far as raising money what have I seen out there. Well there's GoFundMe and there's Patreon. If I was more business minded I could create merchandise. Perhaps create a good looking logo for this blog or any of the other blogs I have. Perhaps a pertinent quote or catchphrase or slogan or just one word. Perhaps just emblazon a shirt or ballcap or tote bag with this blog's url.

Then again I could ask anyone to donate bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. I have seen some blogs out there as for bitcoin for example which I had just discovered lately. While cryptocurrencies have experienced some wild ups and downs especially since they're relatively new I also recognize that thanks to this volatility there are some gains to be had with it and of course just as many losses. The main gain is well bitcoin can be cashed out if you're hardpressed for money.

All the same many of these sites or social media content producers that are asking for donations because they have needs. I stated the needs from 2005 though these aren't the needs of 2018 exactly. Many sites or social media producers - which I include YouTubers - mainly ask for your support in the form of monetary donations. I would consider this akin to a tip because you basically liked what was produced for your enjoyment.

Think about it this way you work at a restaurant, you may tip the waiter mainly because you like the service. Certainly another aspect of this is that perhaps you liked the food, of course if you got bad service would you enjoy the food?

Then again even if you just flat out ask for support you have needs. Like any business venture seeking investors of even a loan there are needs. So many people asking for donations or patronage may list the need for books to read (depending upon what their goals are) or equipment (say computers or cameras) or perhaps even webspace or bandwith. I should say in my case if I ask for funds the money could go towards a domain name.

So if I was to ever go these many routes to support my blogging these are the needs for 2018.
  • web domain
  • equipment such as cameras either for video or photography
  • creative software such as wordpress
  • computers - whether a laptop or desktop or even some incidentals to keep them working
  • i suppose i could have a miscellaneous category perhaps research or even field trips
Let me explain that last one, there are occasions where I do want to visit somewhere and document that place. Say for example over at, perhaps I can spend a day of photography in different parts of the city to see the streetscape. Perhaps give some ideas as to what I would like to see on my part of the south side.

Or for this blog, I've had the idea of say going to Gary, Indiana and documenting their downtown area. See how far that city has gone from their 1960s peak. Or better yet go to Detroit and seeing how far they have fallen from their 1950s peak. Though to be fair I've been to Detroit in 2009. Both would be examples of field trip. Who's to say bloggers should just sit behind a computer and right without visiting places.

Also I may need to refine that miscellaneous part a bit more. Another potential expense are for business cards, my cohorts at are keen on business cards and it's about time. So perhaps another way of gaining exposure you meet people you give them business cards hopefully they check you out and like what they see.

Anyway, I hope you all get the gist. Perhaps this is something worth exploring for the future. This has always been a hobby but who knows it can begin to become more of a side hustle at some point.